Extreme heat, Phoenix Arizona USA- July 2023

Extreme heat: impacts and consequences

Extreme heat is becoming the “new normal” for many areas of the world. The summer of 2023, for example, has seen some of the hottest days in modern history. Extreme heat is now a regular headline: How Extreme Heat Affects Workers and the Economy (New York Times) The heat index reached 152 degrees in the Middle East — nearly at the limit for human survival…

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Dust storm in Texas (USA)

Dust storms in the United States: a mixture of corporate agriculture and climate change

The Great Plains and Midwest regions of the Unted States are seeing more and larger dust storms and higher levels of dust in the atmosphere. The increase has corresponded to an intensification of corporate agricultural practices in these regions–an example is the plowing of grasslands and marginal agricultural land in order to grow more corn for the production of biofuels. Even modest corn production on…

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Mental models: misinformation and truth

“A mental model is a form of mental representation for mechanical–causal domains that affords explanations for these domains. Mental models contain mental representations of objects in space and the causal relations among the objects. The structure of the mental representation corresponds to the structure of the world. This analogical relation allows the mental model to make successful predictions about events in the world. The term…

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Propaganda and deception in politics

Propaganda “is communication that is deliberately designed by one group in society to influence the attitudes and behavior of others. It often uses symbolism and rhetoric and appeals to the emotional and irrational aspects of our sensibility” (Propaganda. (2006). In D. G. Lilleker, Key concepts in political communication. Sage UK.). Propaganda has been around for thousands of years, since at least the time of the…

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Cell development and determination

During the development of an embryo, how is the function of a cell determined? How does a cell “know” it is supposed to, for example, become a nerve cell or part of the gut? How does it know its location within the embryo? How does the process happen? Key articles about cell development and cell determination: *Kemphues, K. J., Priess, J. R., Morton, D. G.,…

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Mental illness and gun violence: is there a real connection?

Is there a real connection between mental illness and violence, especially gun violence? Mental illness is a frequent scapegoat for politicians, organizations, and groups who support easy access to guns. Are individuals with mental illness more prone to violence than the general population? Or are people with mental illness more likely to be victims of violence? What does the research say? Featured articles: *Anestis, M….

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